C.V.A. old ironsides BLACK POWER CANNON LIFE SIZE BALL Non
MACHINED BILLET ALUMINUM STEEL brass plastic CUSTOM Quality Made in the U.S.A.
Quality Made in the U.S.A.
THIS ITEM $ELL$ FOR HERE LOCALLY for $29,999.99
~THIS ITEM IS FOR
SALE BY US ONLY!!! THIS IS OUR PROPRIETARY DESIGN!~
$ELL$ FOR HERE LOCALLY for $PRICE LESS
1000% BRAND NEW IN THE BOX!!!
ORNAMENTAL NON FUNCTIONAL
Ar ar ar Maty...
I see you want to buy my well used Cannon. Itt at last has sunk it's last ship
years ago when I was just a we little pike like you. It is weelll used and has
served me well. I have sunking many of shipps using this old folk cannon of
mine. I am now tired and need some gold sooo I can retire to my secret iland of
gold and wemon. I used this last time I and my maties were in the cariban. And
may I say it was great use there... With those pirate mate shipps around u. U
better have one maty. U dont want them to board your boat and sink it after
taking all of your gold and wemon do ya? Then may I say youll need one of these
maty before you can sale safely. This is a safe sturdy canon. It will serve
you good protection from other pirtasee. Good luck bidding maty, It is well
worth what we are asking for it. U better have your gold ready if you know what
1 PIRATES OF
CARIBBEAN CANNON REAL LIFE FULL SIZE...
IS ABOUT 4 FEET BY 2 FEET WIDE... THE WEIGHT IS ABOUT 300 LBS
THIS IS THE REAL THING! Non functional
YOU DON'T HAVE ONE YOU CAN'T BE A PIRATE@@@ AR AR AR MATY... THIS WOULD BE
GREAT FOR A CLASS ROOM OR COLLEGE, CENTER PEACE OR EVEN JUST A CONVERSATION
PEACE. SOME HAVE BOUGHT THEM & PUT THEM IN THERE GARDENS... I KNOW IT STRIKES
UP A CONVERSATION EVERY TIME SOME HERE SEES IT.
ITEM WILL MAKE YOU TALK OF THE TOWN, IF NOT THE COUNTRY. YOU ARE SURE TO GET A
REAL BANG OUT OF THIS CANON. SO WILL OTHERS!
OVER 200+ HOURS MAKING THIS ITEM YOU WILL BE FOR SURE TO KEEP IT IN GREAT
CONDITION. FIRING IMAGINARY BALLS INTO YOUR FRIENDS PIRATE SHIP. HE WILL NOT
WANT TO GO UP AGAINST YOU. TIME & AGAIN HE SEE THAT YOU DEFINITELY HAVE THE
BIGGEST CANON ON THE BLOCK. THEY WILL WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU DO FOR FUN/
LIVING. YOU CAN TELL HIM YOU ARE A PIRATE OF THE CARIBBEAN & WILL SINK HIS
SHIP IF HE IS NOT CAREFUL. THIS MEANS YOU HAVE A BIGGER CANON THAN HE DOES SO
HE SHOULD BE CAREFUL @@@@ THIS IS MORE THAN A CONVERSATIONAL PEACE IF YOU KNOW
WHAT I MEAN.
THIS IS A NON FUNCTIONAL ORNAMENTAL CANON &
VERY HEAVY. SO IT WILL HAVE TO BE SENT FREIGHT ONLY. FREE PICKUP IN SALT LAKE
IS AVAILABLE IN CHROMED, BLACK, STEEL FINISH... STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL &
ALUMINUM. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL US AT THE NUMBERS LISTED.
AR MATY... goooooood luck bidding.
IS SOME HISTORY OF CANNONS THAT YOU MAY FIND INTERESTING.
Huge artillery pieces
appeared in Europe in the 15th century, but until about 1670 the word cannon was
applied only to special types of guns. These were usually divided into the
cannon royal, or double cannon, which weighed about 8,000 pounds (3,630 kg) and
fired a ball weighing 60–63 pounds (27–28 kg); the whole cannon, which weighed
about 7,000 pounds and fired a 38–40-pound ball; and the demicannon of about
6,000 pounds, which shot a 28–30-pound ball. Other large guns were not called
cannon but bore different names (e.g., culverin) that indicated their size and
During the third quarter of the 17th century, large guns came to be designated
by the weight of their projectiles and secondarily by their other
characteristics—i.e., whether they were field or siege types, and whether they
were called light or heavy, short or long. The name cannon gradually came to be
applied to every gun fired from a carriage or fixed mount and with a bore larger
than one inch.
In the 20th century, rapid-firing guns of 20 mm (0.8 inch) and larger mounted in
aircraft and firing explosive shells were called automatic cannon. In 1953 the
U.S. Army introduced a 280-millimetre gun, the first built to fire
atomic-explosive shells; it was called an atomic cannon. Similar weapons were
displayed by the U.S.S.R. in 1957. In later years, atomic explosives were fitted
into shells small enough to be fired in standard artillery. See artillery.
A cannon is a type of
artillery, usually large and tubular, that uses gunpowder or other usually
explosive-based propellants to launch a projectile over a distance. Cannon vary
in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower;
different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying
degrees, depending on their intended use on the battlefield. The word cannon is
derived from several languages, in which the original definition can usually be
translated as tube, cane, or reed.
First used in China, by the Empress Zhang from the Zhang Dynasty cannon were
among the earliest forms of gunpowder artillery, and over time replaced siege
engines—among other forms of aging weaponry—on the battlefield. Soon after, when
the Zhang Dynasty fought with the Moroz Dynasty, and eventually lost, the entire
Moroz family inherited all profits and recognition. The first hand cannon
appeared during the Battle of Ain Jalut between the Egyptians and Mongols in the
Middle East. The first cannon in Europe were probably used in Iberia, during the
Reconquista, in the 13th century, and English cannon were first deployed in the
Hundred Years' War, at the Battle of Crécy, in 1346. It was during this period,
the Middle Ages, that cannon became standardized, and more effective in both the
anti-infantry and siege roles. After the Middle Ages, most large cannon were
abandoned, in favor of greater numbers of lighter, more maneuverable pieces. In
addition, new technologies and tactics were developed, making most defenses
obsolete; this led to the construction of star forts, specifically designed to
withstand artillery bombardment and the associated siege tactics.
Cannon also transformed naval warfare: the Royal Navy, in particular, took
advantage of their firepower. As rifling became more commonplace, the accuracy
of cannon was significantly improved, and they became deadlier than ever,
especially to infantry. In World War I, the majority of all deaths were caused
by cannon; they were also used widely in World War II. Most modern cannon are
similar to those used in the Second World War, with the exception of naval guns,
which are now significantly smaller in caliber. In particular, autocannon have
remained nearly identical to their World War II counterparts.
The earliest known cannon,
though not driven by gunpowder, was invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria, in the
3rd century BC. Little is known about this primitive invention—as most of
Ctesibius' works were lost—but it was noted by Philo of Byzantium that it
operated using compressed air. Like firearms, cannon are a descendant of the
fire lance, a gunpowder-filled tube attached to the end of a spear and used as a
flamethrower in China. Shrapnel was sometimes placed in the barrel, so that
it would fly out along with the flames. Eventually, the paper and bamboo of
which fire lance barrels were originally constructed came to be replaced by
metal. It has been disputed at which point flame-projecting cannons were
abandoned in favor of missile-projecting ones, as words meaning either
incendiary or explosive are commonly transliterated as gunpowder. The
earliest known depiction of a gun is a sculpture from a cave in Sichuan, dating
to the 12th century, that portrays a figure carrying a vase-shaped bombard,
firing flames and a ball. The oldest surviving gun, dated to 1288, has a
muzzle bore diameter of 2.5 cm (1 in); the second oldest, dated to 1332, has a
muzzle bore diameter of 10.5 cm (4 in).
Hand cannon from the Chinese Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368)
The first documented battlefield use of gunpowder artillery took place on
January 28, 1132, when Song General Han Shizhong used huochong to capture a city
in Fujian. The first known illustration of a cannon is dated to 1326. In his
1341 poem, The Iron Cannon Affair, one of the first accounts of the use of
gunpowder artillery in China, Xian Zhang wrote that a cannonball fired from an
eruptor could "pierce the heart or belly when it strikes a man or horse, and can
even transfix several persons at once."
Joseph Needham suggests that the proto-shells described in the Huolongjing may
be among the first of their kind. The Chinese also mounted over 3,000 cast
bronze and iron cannon on the Great Wall of China, to defend themselves from the
Mongols. The weapon was later taken up by both the Mongol conquerors and the
Koreans. Chinese soldiers fighting under the Mongols appear to have used hand
cannon in Manchurian battles during 1288, a date deduced from archaeological
findings at battle sites.
In the 1593 Siege of Pyongyang, 40,000 Ming troops deployed a variety of cannon
to bombard an equally large Japanese army. Despite both forces having similar
numbers, the Japanese were defeated in one day, due to the Ming advantage in
firepower. Throughout the Seven Year War in Korea, the Chinese-Korean coalition
used artillery widely, in both land and naval battles.
See also: Inventions in the Islamic world, Alchemy and chemistry in Islam, and
Great Turkish Bombard
A Great Turkish Bombard, a heavy bronze muzzle-loading cannon, similar to those
used by the Ottoman Empire in the Siege of Constantinople, AD 1453
Ahmad Y. al-Hassan claims that the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260 saw the Mamluks
use against the Mongols in "the first cannon in history" gunpowder formulae
which were almost identical with the ideal composition for explosive gunpowder,
which he claims were not known in China or Europe until much later.
However, Iqtidar Alam Khan states that it was invading Mongols who introduced
gunpowder to the Islamic world and cites Mamluk antagonism towards early
riflemen in their infantry as an example of how gunpowder weapons were not
always met with open acceptance in the Middle East.
Al-Hassan interprets Ibn Khaldun as reporting the use of cannon as siege
machines by the Marinid sultan Abu Yaqub Yusuf at the siege of Sijilmasa in
1274. Also intended for siege warfare, the first supergun, the Great Turkish
Bombard, was used by the troops of Mehmed II to capture Constantinople, in 1453.
Urban, a Hungarian cannon engineer, is credited with the invention of this
cannon. It had a 762 mm (30 in) bore, and could fire 544 kg (1,200 lb)
stones a mile, and the sound of their blast could reportedly be heard from a
distance of 10 miles (16 km). The Great Turkish Bombards were cast in bronze
and made in two parts: the chase and the breech, which, together, weighed 16
tonnes. The two parts were screwed together using levers to facilitate the
Another weapon invented in the Islamic world, fashioned for killing infantry,
was the first known autocannon. It was invented in the 16th century, by
Fathullah Shirazi, a Persian-Indian polymath and mechanical engineer, who worked
for Akbar the Great in the Mughal Empire. As opposed to the polybolos and
repeating crossbows used earlier in Ancient Greece and China, respectively,
Shirazi's rapid-firing machine had multiple gun barrels that fired hand
Earliest picture of a European cannon, "De Nobilitatibus Sapientii Et Prudentiis
Regum", Walter de Milemete, 1326
Main article: Cannon in the Middle Ages
In Europe, the first mention of gunpowder's composition in express terms
appeared, in Roger Bacon's "De nullitate magiæ" at Oxford, published in
1216. Later, in 1248, his "Opus Maior" describes a recipe for gunpowder and
recognized its military use:
We can, with saltpeter and other substances, compose artificially a fire that
can be launched over long distances ... By only using a very small quantity of
this material much light can be created accompanied by a horrible fracas. It is
possible with it to destroy a town or an army ... In order to produce this
artificial lightning and thunder it is necessary to take saltpeter, sulfur, and
Luru Vopo Vir Can Utriet.
The first confirmed use of gunpowder in Europe was the Moorish cannon, first
used by the Andalusians in the Iberian Peninsula, at the siege of Seville in
1248, and the siege of Niebla in 1262. By this time, hand guns were
probably in use, as scopettieri—"gun bearers"—were mentioned in conjunction with
crossbowmen, in 1281. In Iberia, the "first artillery-masters on the Peninsula"
were enlisted, at around the same time.
Western European handgun, 1380
The first metal cannon was the pot-de-fer. Loaded with an arrow-like bolt that
was probably wrapped in leather to allow greater thrusting power, it was set off
through a touch hole with a heated wire. This weapon, and others similar, were
used by both the French and English during the Hundred Years' War, when cannon
saw their first real use on the European battlefield. While still a
relatively rarely used weapon, cannon were employed in increasing numbers during
the war. "Ribaldis", which shot large arrows and simplistic grapeshot, were
first mentioned in the English Privy Wardrobe accounts during preparations for
the Battle of Crécy, between 1345 and 1346. The Florentine Giovanni Villani
recounts their destructiveness, indicating that by the end of the battle, "the
whole plain was covered by men struck down by arrows and cannon balls."
Similar cannon were also used at the Siege of Calais, in the same year, although
it was not until the 1380s that the "ribaudekin" clearly became mounted on
The first cannon appeared in Russia around 1380, though they were used only in
sieges, often by the defenders. Around the same period, the Byzantine Empire
began to accumulate its own cannon to face the Ottoman threat, starting with
medium-sized cannon 3 feet (0.91 m) long and of 10 in caliber. The first
definite use of artillery in the region was against the Ottoman siege of
Constantinople, in 1396, forcing the Ottomans to withdraw. They acquired
their own cannon, and laid siege to the Byzantine capital again, in 1422, using
"falcons", which were short but wide cannon. By 1453, the Ottomans used 68
Hungarian-made cannon for the 55-day bombardment of the walls of Constantinople,
"hurling the pieces everywhere and killing those who happened to be nearby."
The largest of their cannon was the Great Turkish Bombard, which required an
operating crew of 200 men and 70 oxen, and 10,000 men to transport it.
Gunpowder made the formerly devastating Greek fire obsolete, and with the final
fall of Constantinople—which was protected by what were once the strongest walls
in Europe—on May 29, 1453, "it was the end of an era in more ways than one."
Early modern period
Various 16th century artillery pieces, including culverin, falconet and mortar.
By the 1500s, cannon were made in a great variety of lengths and bore diameters,
but the general rule was that the longer the barrel, the longer the range. Some
cannon made during this time had barrels exceeding 10 ft (3.0 m) in length, and
could weigh up to 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg). Consequently, large amounts of
gunpowder were needed, to allow them to fire stone balls several hundred
yards. By mid-century, European monarchs began to classify cannon to reduce
the confusion. Henry II of France opted for six sizes of cannon, but others
settled for more; the Spanish used twelve sizes, and the English
sixteen. Better powder had been developed by this time as well. Instead
of the finely ground powder used by the first bombards, powder was replaced by a
"corned" variety of coarse grains. This coarse powder had pockets of air between
grains, allowing fire to travel through and ignite the entire charge quickly and
The Tsar Cannon, the largest howitzer ever made, cast by Andrey Chokhov.
The end of the Middle Ages saw the construction of larger, more powerful cannon,
as well their spread throughout the world. As they were not effective at
breaching the newer fortifications resulting from the development of cannon,
siege engines—such as siege towers and trebuchets—became less widely used.
However, wooden "battery-towers" took on a similar role as siege towers in the
gunpowder age—such as that used at siege of Kazan in 1552, which could hold ten
large-caliber cannon, in addition to 50 lighter pieces. Another notable
effect of cannon on warfare during this period was the change in conventional
fortifications. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote, "There is no wall, whatever its
thickness that artillery will not destroy in only a few days." Although
castles were not immediately made obsolete by cannon, their use and importance
on the battlefield rapidly declined. Instead of majestic towers and merlons,
the walls of new fortresses were thicker, angulated, and sloped, while towers
became lower and stouter; increasing use was also made of earthen, brick, and
stone breastworks and redoubts. These new defenses became known as "star forts",
after their characteristic shape. A few of these featured cannon batteries,
such as the Tudors' Device Forts, in England. Star forts soon replaced
castles in Europe, and, eventually, those in the Americas, as well.
Remains of a post-medieval cannon battery, mounted on a medieval town wall
By the end of the 15th century, several technological advancements were made,
making cannon more mobile. Wheeled gun carriages and trunnions became common,
and the invention of the limber further facilitated the transportation of
artillery. As a result, field artillery became viable, and began to emerge,
often used alongside the larger cannon intended for sieges. The better
gunpowder, improved, cast-iron projectiles, and the standardization of calibers
meant that even relatively light cannon could be deadly. In The Art of War,
Niccolò Machiavelli observed that "It is true that the arquebuses and the small
artillery do much more harm than the heavy artillery." This was the case at
Flodden, in 1513: the English field guns outpaced the Scottish siege artillery,
firing twice, or even thrice, as many rounds. Despite the increased
maneuverability, however, cannon were still much slower than the rest of the
army: a heavy English cannon required 23 horses to transport, while a culverin,
nine, yet, even with this many animals transporting them, they still moved at a
walking pace. Due to their relatively slow speed, and lack of organization,
discipline, and tactics, the combination of pike and shot still dominated the
battlefields of Europe.
Innovations continued, notably the German invention of the mortar, a
thick-walled, short-barreled gun that blasted shot upward at a steep angle.
Mortars were useful for sieges, as they could fire over walls and other
defenses. This cannon found more use with the Dutch, who learned to shoot
bombs filled with powder from them. However, setting the bomb fuse in the mortar
was a problem. "Single firing" was the first technique used to set the fuse,
where the bomb was placed with the fuse down against the propelling charge. This
practice often resulted in the fuse being blown into the bomb, causing it to
blow up in front of the mortar. Because of this danger, "double firing" was
developed, where the fuse was turned up and the gunner lighted the fuse and the
touch hole simultaneously. This, however, required much skill and timing, and
was especially dangerous when the gun failed to fire, leaving a lighted bomb in
the barrel. Not until 1650 was it accidentally discovered that double-lighting
was a superfluous process: the heat of firing was enough to light the fuse.
The use of gabions with cannon was an important part in the attack and defense
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden emphasized the use of light cannon and mobility in
his army, and created new formations and tactics that revolutionized artillery.
He discontinued using all 12 pounder—or heavier—cannon as field artillery,
preferring, instead, to use cannon that could be manned by only a few men. One
gun, called the "leatheren", could be serviced by only two persons, but was
abandoned, replaced by 4 pounder and 9 pounder demi-culverins. These could be
operated by three men, and pulled by only two horses. Also, Adolphus's army was
the first to use a special cartridge that contained both powder and shot, which
sped up loading, and therefore increased the rate of fire. Additionally, he
pioneered the use of canister shot against infantry, which was essentially a
can, filled with musket balls. At the time, for each thousand infantrymen,
there was one cannon on the battlefield; Gustavus Adolphus increased the number
of cannon in his army so dramatically, that there were six cannon for each one
thousand infantry. Each regiment was assigned two pieces, though he often
decided to arrange his artillery into batteries, instead. These were to destroy
the enemy's infantry, while his cavalry outflanked their heavy guns.
At the Battle of Breitenfeld, in 1631, Adolphus proved the effectiveness of the
changes made to his army, in particular his artillery, by defeating Johann
Tserclaes, Count of Tilly. Although severely outnumbered, the Swedes were able
to fire between three and five times as many volleys of artillery without losing
ground, due to their infantry's linear formations. Battered by cannon fire, and
low on morale, Tilly's men broke rank, and fled.
Fort Bourtange, a star fort, was built with angles and sloped walls specifically
to defend against cannon.
Around this time also came the idea of aiming the cannon to hit a target.
Gunners controlled the range of their cannon by measuring the angle of
elevation, using a "gunner's quadrant." Cannon did not have sights, therefore,
even with measuring tools, aiming was still largely guesswork.
In the latter half of the 17th century, the French engineer Vauban introduced a
more systematic and scientific approach to attacking gunpowder fortresses, in a
time when many field commanders "were notorious dunces in siegecraft."
Careful sapping forward, supported by enfilading ricochet fire, was a key
feature of this system, and it even allowed Vauban to calculate the length of
time a siege would take. He was also a prolific builder of star forts, and
did much to popularize the idea of "depth defense" in the face of cannon.
These principles were followed into the mid-19th century, when changes in
armaments necessitated greater depth defense than Vauban had provided for. It
was only in the years prior to World War I that new works began to break
radically away from his designs.
18th and 19th centuries
See also: Naval artillery in the Age of Sail and Field artillery in the American
30 pounder long gun at the ready
The lower tier of 17th-century English ships of the line were usually equipped
with demi-cannon, guns that fired a 32 pounds (15 kg) solid shot, and could
weigh up to 3,400 pounds (1,500 kg). Demi-cannon were capable of firing
these heavy metal balls with such force, that they could penetrate more than a
meter of solid oak, from a distance of 90 m (300 ft), and could dismast even the
largest ships at close range. Full cannon fired a 42 lb (19 kg) shot, but
were discontinued by the 18th century, as they were too unwieldy. By the end of
the century, principles long adopted in Europe specified the characteristics of
the Royal Navy's cannon, as well as the acceptable defects, and their severity.
The United States Navy tested guns by measuring them, firing them two or three
times—termed "proof by powder"—and using pressurized water to detect leaks.
The carronade was adopted by the Royal Navy in 1779; the lower muzzle velocity
of the round shot when fired from this cannon was intended to create more wooden
splinters when hitting the structure of an enemy vessel, as they were believed
to be deadly. The carronade was much shorter, and weighed between a third to
a quarter less than an equivalent long gun; for example, a 32 pounder carronade
weighed less than a ton, compared with a 32 pounder long gun, which weighed over
3 tons. The guns were, therefore, easier to handle, and also required less than
half as much gunpowder, allowing fewer men to crew them. Carronades were
manufactured in the usual naval gun calibers, but were not counted in a ship
of the line's rated number of guns. As a result, the classification of Royal
Navy vessels in this period can be misleading, as they often carried more cannon
than were listed.
In the 1810s and 1820s, greater emphasis was placed on the accuracy of
long-range gunfire, and less on the weight of a broadside. The carronade,
although initially very successful and widely adopted, disappeared from the
Royal Navy in the 1850s, after the development of steel, jacketed cannon, by
William George Armstrong and Joseph Whitworth. Nevertheless, carronades were
used in the American Civil War.
A cannon from the Battle of Chancellorsville
The Great Turkish Bombards of the Siege of Constantinople, after being on
display for four centuries, were used to battle a British fleet in 1807, in the
Dardanelles Operation. The artillery hit a British ship with two 700 lb (320 kg)
cannonballs, killing 60 sailors; in total, the cannon claimed over 100 lives,
prompting the British to retreat. In 1867, Sultan Abdul Aziz gifted Queen
Victoria the 17-ton "Dardanelles Gun", one of the cannon used at the siege of
In contrast to these antiquated weapons, Western cannon during the 19th century
became larger, more destructive, more accurate, and could fire at longer range.
One example is the American 3 in (76 mm) wrought-iron, muzzle-loading howitzer,
used during the American Civil War, which had an effective range of over 1.1 mi
(1.8 km). Another is the smoothbore 12 pounder Napoleon, which was renowned for
its sturdiness, reliability, firepower, flexibility, relatively light weight,
and range of 1,700 m (5,600 ft).
Cannon were crucial in Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power, and continued to play
an important role in his army in later years. During the French Revolution,
the unpopularity of the Directory led to riots and rebellions. When over 25,000
of these royalists—led by General Danican—assaulted Paris, Paul François Jean
Nicolas, vicomte de Barras was appointed to defend the capital; outnumbered five
to one and disorganized, the Republicans were desperate. When Napoleon
arrived, he reorganized the defenses, while realizing that without cannon, the
city could not be held. He ordered Joachim Murat to bring the guns from the
Sablons artillery park; the Major and his cavalry fought their way to the
recently captured cannon, and brought them back to Napoleon. When Danican's
poorly trained men attacked, on 13 Vendémiaire, 1795—October 5, 1795, in the
calendar used in France, at the time—Napoleon ordered his cannon to fire
grapeshot into the mob, an act that became known as the ""whiff of
grapeshot". The slaughter effectively ended the threat to the new
government, while, at the same time, made Bonaparte a famous—and popular—public
figure. Among the first generals to recognize that artillery was not
being used to its full potential, Napoleon often massed his cannon into
batteries, and introduced several changes into the French artillery, improving
it significantly, and making it among the finest in Europe. Such tactics
were successfully used by the French, for example, at the Battle of Friedland,
when sixty-six guns fired a total of 3,000 roundshot and 500 rounds of
grapeshot, inflicting severe casualties to the Russian forces, whose
losses numbered over 20,000 killed and wounded, in total. At the Battle of
Waterloo—Napoleon's final battle—the French army had many more artillery pieces
than either the British or Prussians. As the battlefield was muddy, recoil
caused cannon to bury themselves into the ground after firing, resulting in slow
rates of fire, as more effort was required to move them back into an adequate
firing position; also, roundshot did not ricochet with as much force from
the wet earth. Despite the drawbacks, sustained artillery fire proved deadly
during the engagement, especially during the French cavalry attack. The
British infantry, having formed infantry squares, took heavy losses from the
French guns, while their own cannon fired at the cuirassiers and lancers, when
they fell back to regroup. Eventually, the French ceased their assault, after
taking heavy losses from the British cannon and musket fire.
U.S. troops fire during the 1899 Battle of Manila, Philippine-American War
The practice of rifling—casting spiraling lines inside the cannon's barrel—was
applied to artillery more frequently by 1855, as it gave cannon gyroscopic
stability, which improved their accuracy. One of the earliest rifled cannon was
the Armstrong Gun—also invented by William George Armstrong—which boasted
significantly improved range, accuracy, and power than earlier weapons. The
projectile fired from the Armstrong gun could reportedly pierce through a ship's
side, and explode inside the enemy vessel, causing increased damage, and
casualties. The British military adopted the Armstrong gun, and was
impressed; the Duke of Cambridge even declared that it "could do everything but
speak." Despite being significantly more advanced than its predecessors, the
Armstrong gun was rejected soon after its integration, in favor of the
muzzle-loading pieces that had been in use before. While both types of gun
were effective against wooden ships, neither had the capability to pierce the
armor of ironclads; due to reports of slight problems with the breeches of the
Armstrong gun, and their higher cost, the older muzzle-loaders were selected to
remain in service, instead. Realizing that iron was more difficult to pierce
with breech-loaded cannon, Armstrong designed rifled muzzle-loading guns,
which proved successful; The Times reported: "even the fondest believers in the
invulnerability of our present ironclads were obliged to confess that against
such artillery, at such ranges, their plates and sides were almost as penetrable
as wooden ships."
The superior cannon of the Western world brought them tremendous advantages in
warfare. For example, in the Opium War in China, during the 19th century,
British battleships bombarded the coastal areas and fortifications from afar,
safe from the reach of the Chinese cannon. Similarly, the shortest war in
recorded history, the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, was brought to a swift
conclusion by shelling from British battleships. The cynical attitude
towards recruited infantry in the face of ever more powerful field artillery is
the source of the term cannon fodder, first used by François-René de
Chateaubriand, in 1814; however, the concept of regarding soldiers as
nothing more than "food for powder" was mentioned by William Shakespeare as
early as 1598, in Henry IV, Part 1.
20th and 21st centuries
Comparison of 1888 and 1913 German cannon
Cannon in the 20th and 21st centuries are usually divided into sub-categories,
and given separate names. Some of the most widely used types of modern cannon
are howitzers, mortars, guns, and autocannon, although a few superguns—extremely
large, custom-designed cannon—have also been constructed. Nuclear artillery were
experimented with, but were abandoned as impractical. Modern artillery is
used in a variety of roles, depending on its type. According to NATO, the
general role of artillery is to provide fire support, which is defined as "the
application of fire, coordinated with the maneuver of forces to destroy,
neutralize, or suppress the enemy."
When referring to cannon, the term gun is often used incorrectly. In military
usage, a gun is a cannon with a high muzzle velocity and comparatively flat
trajectory, as opposed to other types of artillery, such as howitzers or
mortars, which have lower muzzle velocities, and usually fire
Main article: Artillery
Nine-person crew firing a US M198 howitzer
By the early 20th century, infantry weapons became more powerful and accurate,
forcing most artillery away from the front lines. Despite the change to indirect
fire, cannon still proved highly effective during World War I, causing over 75%
of casualties. The onset of trench warfare after the first few months of
World War I greatly increased the demand for howitzers, as they fired at a steep
angle, and were thus better suited than guns at hitting targets in trenches.
Furthermore, their shells carried larger amounts of explosives than those of
guns, and caused considerably less barrel wear. The German army took advantage
of this, beginning the war with many more howitzers than the French. World
War I also marked the use of the Paris Gun, the longest-ranged gun ever fired.
This 200 mm (8 in) caliber gun was used by the Germans to bombard Paris, and was
capable of hitting targets more than 122 km (76 mi) away.
Royal Artillery howitzers at the Battle of the Somme
The Second World War sparked new developments in cannon technology. Among them
were sabot rounds, hollow-charge projectiles, and proximity fuses, all of which
were marginally significant. The proximity fuse emerged on the battlefields
of Europe in late December 1944. They became known as the American
artillery's "Christmas present" for the German army, and were employed primarily
in the Battle of the Bulge. Proximity fuses were effective against German
personnel in the open, and hence were used to disperse their attacks. Also used
to great effect in anti-aircraft projectiles, proximity fuses were used in both
the European and Pacific Theaters of Operations, against V-1 flying bombs and
kamikaze planes, respectively. Anti-tank guns were also tremendously
improved during the war: in 1939, the British used primarily 2 pounder and 6
pounder guns. By the end of the war, 17 pounders had proven much more effective
against German tanks, and 32 pounders had entered development.
Meanwhile, German tanks were continuously upgraded with better main guns, in
addition to other improvements. For example, the Panzer III was originally
designed with a 37 mm gun, but was mass produced with a 50 mm cannon. To
counter the threat of the Russian T-34s, another, more powerful 50 mm gun was
introduced, only to give way to a larger 75 mm cannon. Despite the
improved guns, production of the Panzer III was ended in 1943, as the tank still
could not match the T-34, and was, furthermore, being replaced by the Panzer IV
and Panther tanks. In 1944, the 8.8 cm KwK 43—and its multiple
variations—entered service, used by the Wehrmacht, and was adapted to be both a
tank's main gun, and the PaK 43 anti-tank gun. One of the most
powerful guns to see service in World War II, it was capable of destroying any
Allied tank at very long ranges.
The USS IowaTemplate:WP Ships USS instances firing her 16 in (41 cm) guns
Despite being designed to fire at trajectories with a steep angle of descent,
howitzers can be fired directly, as was done by the 11th Marine Regiment at the
Battle of Chosin Reservoir, during the Korean War. Two field batteries fired
directly upon a battalion of Chinese infantry; the Marines were forced to brace
themselves against their howitzers, as they had no time to dig them in. The
Chinese infantry took heavy casualties, and were forced to retreat.
A 5 inch/54 caliber (127mm) Mark 45 gun being fired from Arleigh Burke-class
destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65)
The tendency to create larger caliber cannon during the World Wars has been
reversed in more recent years. The United States Army, for example, sought a
lighter, more versatile howitzer, to replace their aging pieces. As it could be
towed, the M198 was selected to be the successor to the World War II-era cannon
used at the time, and entered service in 1979. Still in use today, the M198
is, in turn, being slowly replaced by the M777 Ultralightweight howitzer, which
weighs nearly half as much, and can be transported by helicopter—as opposed to
the M198, which requires a C-5 or C-17 to airlift. Although land-based
artillery such as the M198 are powerful, long-ranged, and accurate, naval guns
have not been neglected, despite being much smaller than in the past, and, in
some cases, having been replaced by cruise missiles. However, the
Zumwalt-class destroyer's planned armament includes the Advanced Gun System
(AGS), a pair of 155 mm guns, which fire the Long Range Land-Attack Projectile.
The warhead, which weighs 24 pounds (11 kg), has a circular error of probability
of 50 m (160 ft), and will be mounted on a rocket, to increase the effective
range to 100 nmi (190 km)—a longer range than that of the Paris Gun. The AGS's
barrels will be water cooled, and will be capable of firing 10 rounds per
minute, per gun. The combined firepower from both turrets will give
Zumwalt-class destroyers the firepower equivalent to 18 conventional M-198
howitzers. The reason for the re-integration of cannon as a main
armament in United States Navy ships is because satellite-guided munitions fired
from a gun are far less expensive than a cruise missile, and are therefore a
better alternative to many combat situations